Shelf Life of

How Long Does Lettuce Last?

Shelf Life of Lettuce

Lettuce – how long does lettuce last? Lettuce is a leafy vegetable, usually eaten raw as in the main ingredient of salads. The shelf life of lettuce depends on a variety of factors, such as the date purchased (since it does not have a sell by date), the preparation method and how it was stored. Because of its relatively low cost, low caloric content, vitamins and antioxidants lettuce in salads is one of the most popular ways to eat vegetables.

So, how long does lettuce last? When properly stored, the shelf life of fresh lettuce past its date purchased is approximately …

(Unopened/Opened) Refrigerator
Past Printed Date
Head Iceburg Lettuce lasts for 7-10 Days
Head Romaine Lettuce lasts for 7-10 Days
Head Leaf Lettuce lasts for 5-7 Days
Head Butter Lettuce lasts for 3-5 Days
Chopped or Loose Lettuce lasts for 3-5 Days
Fresh Express Lettuce lasts for 3-5 Days

Of course, all foods last for a shorter period of time if they are not stored properly. But, like a lot of other vegetables, lettuce usually has a best by date or no date at all to tell the expiration date. Because of this distinction, you may safely use it to compliment your favorite meals even after the the best by date has lapsed.

How to tell if lettuce is bad, rotten or spoiled?

Practicing proper hygiene and food safety discipline will help prevent food borne illness. Although not a perfect test, your senses are usually the most reliable instruments to tell if your lettuce has gone bad. Some common traits of bad lettuce are discoloration, a moist texture and a rotten smell. Lettuce will first become limp and then the green color turns to brown or black. There are, of course, certain health risks associated with any spoiled food, so always remember to practice food safety and enjoy your foods prior to their eat by dates.

How to store lettuce to extend its shelf life?

Proper food storage is the key to extending the expiration date of food.
You can help lettuce keep fresh longer by storing it in your refrigerator immediately after use. A great way to keep it crisp and fresh for longer is to rinse and dry your lettuce before storing it. An easy way to dry lettuce is with a salad spinner. A container made for lettuce, like the Tupperware container, or any airtight plastic (such as a vegetable bag sealed tightly) work great to keep out moisture and other contaminants.
Some benefits of proper food storage include eating healthier, cutting food costs and helping the environment by avoiding waste.

Interesting Facts

  • Lettuce can carry bacteria like E-coli, so it is important to always wash your it after purchase. Important note – *always wash your lettuce before use*!

  • How long is lettuce good for when prepared in a dish?

    How long does lettuce last? That depends. How long do hard boiled eggs last? In general, all foods last only as long as the quickest expiring ingredient in the dish that it is prepared in. To find out how long those other ingredients are good for, please visit the Dairy, Drinks, Fruits, Grains, Proteins, Vegetables and Other sections of Eat By Date!

    What are our shelf life resources?

    Our content incorporates research from multiple resources, including the United States Department of Agriculture and the United States Food & Drug Administration. In addition, we scoured the web for informative articles and reports related to food safety, food storage and shelf life.

    *An important note about expiration dates …

    Although the shelf life information on Eat By Date is generally reliable, please remember that individual cases will vary and that our advice should only be taken as an opinion. So, how long will food last? Let’s find out!